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Cummins recalls X12 diesel engines because of fire risk

25 makers of severe service and off-highway vehicles affected

Cummins Inc. is recalling about 11,000 X12 engines used in severe service and off-highway applications because of a potential for fire from a cracked fuel tube. (Photo: Cummins Inc.)

Cummins Inc. is recalling nearly 11,000 X12 diesel engines sold to 25 makers of off-road and specialty equipment because a high-pressure fuel leak from a cracked fuel tube led to a vehicle fire and dozens of warranty claims.

The affected engines built between April 2016 and October of this year, are equipped with high- pressure common rail fuel systems that were installed in mixers, coaches, emergency and recreational vehicles, refuse trucks, and cranes. 

The recall covers the entire population of engines equipped with a certain injector fuel supply tube that can crack, resulting in a high-pressure fuel leak. Specifically, the fuel tubes between the fuel rail and the injector for cylinders four, five and six may be susceptible to cracking due to metal fatigue failure resulting from a combination of vibration strain, assembly strain and material weakness.

Cummins (NYSE: CMI) said only 1% of the 10,938 engines recalled are expected to have the defect. They were sold to 25 vehicle manufacturers including Daimler Trucks North America, Autocar and Oshkosh Defense.

Columbus, Indiana-based Cummins told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it was aware of a September fire in an X12 engine but no injuries. The company received 29 warranty claims as it investigated from April to November.

Engines having 75 miles or less have vibration isolators added to the fuel tubes. Older engines will get new fuel tubes for cylinders four, five and six in the rear half of the engine. Vibration isolators will be added to the fuel tubes. Repairs will be done free of charge by Cummins. OEM customers were told of the defect last Friday. The recall schedule is being developed.


The NHTSA recall number is 21E-099.

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Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.